YOU never forget some people, however brief your encounter with them.
The pain was indescribable. It would emerge that I had broken my arm in four places, but it was nothing compared to what the man in the hospital bed beside mine was going through.
I had been playing football at school and on going to ground put my arm out, which was trodden on. I remember my vision blurring, a crowd gathering around me, my arm not moving as I tried to get to my feet, the deputy head lifting me up and taking me to the matron, who bandaged it up in such a fashion it would later have to be re-broken.
The ambulance arrived — my mum said she saw it going down to the school and on hearing the phone ring knew it was something to do with either my brother or myself — and I was given oxygen.
I don’t remember much about the initial stages of the hospital treatment apart from a nurse asking who had bandaged my arm, giving me an injection and cracking it again.
I was taken to a ward and told I would be staying overnight.
A man was wheeled in — the name tag at the bottom of his bed said Morgan. He was from Middlesbrough. I think his legs were broken but that was the least of his worries.
We got talking. He reassured me I was going to be all right and should be back playing cricket by the end of the season.
I should have been reassuring him, but I was 16 and didn’t know what to say. He had been driving his lorry and smashed into the bridge at Bolton Abbey, killing two people.
I gave him my cricket magazine to read, the world cup was on and he seemed interested. That night his wife rang him to say their daughter had been bullied at school and the next morning we were taken in to the lounge to watch England v Sri Lanka. The news came on and it showed a picture of his lorry and the damaged bridge. He cried. I knew why but the rest of the people there didn’t.
A couple of hours later my parents arrived to take me home. I felt selfish at worrying only about the fact that I might lose my position as wicket keeper for the under-18s while a man was still in hospital, his family up in the North East and two people dead. He told my mum I had helped keep his mind off things. That was something, I suppose.
It was Saturday June 11, 1983. I’ve never forgotten the date. Mr Morgan would have been in his late 30s or early 40s, so would be well into his 70s by now.
I only knew him for a few hours, but his reaction — at least on the face of it — to what was a truly terrible situation, undoubtedly never forgotten by him, has stayed with me.
I hope he was able to overcome the events of June 10 and went on to live as normal a life as possible.